Who ya preachin’ to?


In my whirlwind tour of various conferences, I had a great time meeting other educators. Some were like minded, and some were not. There is a tendency to be uncomfortable with these “differences of opinion”, but sometimes I’m more troubled by what I hear from “like-minded” colleagues.

One of the things I always try to look at now that I’m a site “resource” (even though I’m not a resource teacher with release time from the classroom), is what tools are out there that are not just for me to use, but that other folks on my site would find of use. I look at the sessions not just for what I need, but for what might be a good way to present things to my peers back at my day job. This is why I will go to sessions on PowerPoint (which I know pretty well) and not just ones on GoogleEarth (which I haven’t used with students as much).

I think many conference attendees do this. Some are specifically tasked with this since they are being sent out by their district or site as a “representative” to gather information. Sometimes I’m reminded that there are other folks out there, who take a more self-centric approach to things. They are content to preach to the choir.

I’m troubled when I hear things like, “I don’t fit in where I work, and I prefer conferences where I can spend time with like minded individuals.” I have two thoughts when I hear this, are you sure you are that different, and why are you working in a place where you feel that out of place? If you have tried to have conversations around technology in teaching and met resistance, was that about them, or YOU and your message? Did you hear your colleagues concerns about time, effort, and meeting administration priorities? I understand there are folks who are resistant to incorporating technology in instruction out there, but I wonder if some of our “ambassadors” are taking the same approach Dick Cheney brought to relations with Iran. We’ll talk to them about meeting our demands, when they’ve met all of our demands.

Photo credit: Sing joy… from flickr photosharing

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